Aditya-L1 Solar Mission: Following its historic moon landing achievement, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is embarking on another ambitious endeavor—Aditya-L1, India’s maiden mission to the Sun.
S Somnath, ISRO’s Chief, has announced the commencement of the mission, with the countdown set to start for the Aditya-L1 Solar Mission’s launch on September 2 at 11:50 a.m. from the Sriharikota spaceport.
ISRO anticipates that it will take 125 days for the mission to reach its destination, the Sun.
Aditya-L1’s solar mission rehearsal has successfully concluded, as confirmed by ISRO. The launch rehearsal and internal checks of the rocket have been completed. The spacecraft, India’s first space-based observatory designed to study the Sun, will be launched using the PSLV-C57 rocket.
“We are fully prepared for the launch. Both the rocket and satellite are ready. We have successfully completed the launch rehearsal. So, tomorrow, we will initiate the countdown for the day after tomorrow’s launch,” stated Somanath during a media briefing.
Why is the Aditya-L1 solar mission significant?
According to ISRO, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft’s purpose is to provide remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind at L1 (Sun-Earth Lagrangian point), which is approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
For India, the success of the Aditya-L1 solar mission would mark another major achievement after the Chandrayaan-3 mission, where India became the first country to land a spacecraft near the lunar south pole in August.
If this space program proves successful, the Aditya-L1 solar mission will enter a halo orbit around one of the five Lagrange points. From there, Aditya-L1 is expected to provide an uninterrupted view of the Sun and monitor its impact on environmental conditions in real-time within Earth’s vicinity and other planets.
Aditya-L1 Mission: Main Objectives
The data collected by the spacecraft will contribute to solving the mystery of how the corona’s temperature can soar to about a million degrees while the Sun’s surface remains just above 6000 degrees Celsius.
The spacecraft will offer observations of both the corona and the solar chromosphere using the UV payload.
Furthermore, the mission has four main objectives:
- To investigate the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism.
- To comprehend the dynamics of solar wind acceleration.
- To explore the origin and dynamics of coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
- To study the propagation of particles and fields in the interplanetary medium.
Aditya-L1: Launch Date and Time
The Aditya L-1 mission, India’s first space-based solar observatory, is scheduled for launch from Sriharikota on September 2 at 11:50 am. The spacecraft will be launched using a PSLV-C57 rocket from the southern state.
Aditya-L1 Solar Mission: Cost
While ISRO has not officially disclosed the cost of the Aditya-L1 solar mission, in 2019, the Indian government approved an allocation of approximately $46 million for the project.
Previously, ISRO shared details on the launch, stating that the spacecraft, India’s inaugural space-based solar observatory, would be launched using the PSLV-C57 rocket. The agency also provided a glimpse of the rocket that will transport Aditya-L1 into space.
Aditya-L1 Mission: Future
The spacecraft will carry seven payloads (instruments) to observe various layers of the Sun, including the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona, across different wavebands.
Aditya-L1 represents a fully indigenous effort, with participation from national institutions, as confirmed by an ISRO official.